Gravesend Hole, Kent

31st May 2008 A group of about a dozen of us attended a house in Gravesend where a mysterious hole had appeared in the garden
Following the recent bout of heavy rain the owner had noticed a dip in the back lawn of his property. After contacting the group we arranged to go and have a look. Initial inspection revealed a sagging area of grass with a small opening in the middle and a large void below. After a few minutes cutting away the overhanging grass a closer inspection revealed that the large void sloped downward into another hole with water at the bottom.
At this point we weren’t sure if it was a dene hole, mine or well. After securing a ladder and life line Pete was duly dispatched to investigate. Upon inspection it turned out to be a well which had obviously been capped at sometime in the past. The beehive shaped capping was in good order and had a pipe feeding into it having been used as a soak away at some point in the past.
It seems that water from a soak away, now clearly visible, installed a few years ago had found its way into the side of an old unknown and capped well. Over the ensuing years the water had slowly washed away the earth in its path. As more and more soil was washed away a growing void was being created under the lawn. Eventually during the recent heavy rain this void had completely collapsed revealing the well. We measured the depth to the bottom of the well to be about 11m and having stood in the water it turned out to be only about 3 feet deep. Obviously this would have been deeper before all the soil washed into it.
The owner now plans to fill in both the well and hole. For more pictures click here.